The 99-year-old Mikado is showing the modern pack how to win Class 7 at Skandia Cowes Week.

One of the most beautiful boats here at Cowes this week has to beMikado, the 99-year-old Fife-built Clyde 30, owned and helmed by Michael Briggs. This stunning classic yacht, built in 1904 for Sir William Corry, remained in Scotland until 1920 before moving to Ireland and then to the East Coast of England. In 1990 she was discovered lying in poor condition in Exeter and was totally restored by Chris Cracknell. Most of the original planking, framing, mast and keel were preserved but she was given a new stainless steel floor, mast step and planked deck.

Now nearly ready for her Queen’s telegram, she’s back on the water racing in Class 7 against a selection of modern day one-designs including Impala 28s, Moodys, Laser 28s and Beneteau 25s. “It’s quite uncanny sailing against them,” said Briggs,” because going to windward with their Kevlar sails they point about 15 degrees higher than us, but we go much faster through the water. Offwind we have a waterline length advantage and are able to power away from them, particularly on a run when we can boom out the yankee. I don’t really know why the IRC rate us so well but it does, I suppose we get a lot of age allowance.”

So far this weekMikadohas notched up a respectable series of results including a first, second and third and, going in to the fifth day’s racing, is leading her class overall. Her nearest rival is the Impala 28Disko TrooperwithTsunami, a Bolero 25, a close third.

Having recently competed at the Clyde Regatta where she finished second in her class, Briggs plans to continue racingMikadoon the classics’ circuit including heading off to the Mediterranean straight after Cowes Week for the classic boat series which takes in St Tropez, Cannes and Monaco.